238 Carnival Paradise Cruise Reviews

Going on a cruise was a great option for my friends and I for our last trip together. The boat was clean and there was plenty to do on board. Fairly easy to navigate as it is a smaller and older ship. Stateroom was always cleaned and ... Read More
Going on a cruise was a great option for my friends and I for our last trip together. The boat was clean and there was plenty to do on board. Fairly easy to navigate as it is a smaller and older ship. Stateroom was always cleaned and turndown service was a nice touch each night. The dinners in the main dining room were excellent. Never had a bad meal and the waitstaff really wanted to get to know us and made it fun. The lido deck buffet food could have been better but it's a buffet so what more can you expect. Bar service can be a little slow but when you are trying to assist a couple thousand guests it's understandable. The main shows were ok, nothing special. We really enjoyed the activities and fun that went down at the atrium bar each night. Very nice vacation and would definitely cruise on Paradise again. Carnival never disappoints. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our 3rd cruise, first on the Carnival Paradise and I must say I really enjoyed it! I was not a fan of the other cruises we have taken. We sailed to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The embarkation process went really smooth, there ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise, first on the Carnival Paradise and I must say I really enjoyed it! I was not a fan of the other cruises we have taken. We sailed to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The embarkation process went really smooth, there were lots of agents checking in passengers. Our room was on the 5th floor, M223 with no window. - very comfortable bed - nice size not huge - robes were provided for everyone in the room - never heard any noise from other rooms - BEST shower ever! Always hot right away and stayed that way until you were done - bed always turned down with a towel animal every night - clean towels everyday - beach towels STAFF - GREAT - our waiters were so nice, called us by name every night (8:15 dinner in the Elation dining room) - the deck waiters were also great, knew what drinks you liked on the second day, also called you by name FOOD - I thought everything I ate was great! - waffles were so good ( but only had them every other day) SHOWS - watch late shows and thought they were good - comedy club was also good - casino bar band in the lobby were good I found the ship to be very clean, great staff, great food! The only thing that was a disappointment was the excursion in Grand Caymans. We did the swimming with the stingrays and starfish point. NOTHING like the pictures or reviews. I understand that is nature and there may not always be a lot of starfish but only to see about 5 was disappointing. The swimming with the stingrays was also disappointing, we got in a big circle (25 of us) and watched everyone kiss the stingray and then watch everyone get their picture taken with it, while the guide held it the whole time. They didn't even bring enough food for everyone to feed it, so I was disappointed with that. I would not recommend this excursion to anyone. After talking with other people about swimming with the stingrays, we were picked the wrong tour. I would recommend the Carnival Paradise to anyone, had a great time! If you are looking for some fancy ship, with the big slides, huge TV on the upper decks then this is not the ship for you. I don't think it is the "Motel 6 of the Seas", as an above review, though. It was a nice ship and you make how you want your cruise to go, get to know the staff and they will make you feel like you've been friends for a long time. Thank you staff for all of your hard work! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Having been on over ten cruises, this is probably the second smallest ship I have been on. However, I was pleasantly surprised. I needed something affordable because I was taking my aunt for her birthday. If you keep your expectations ... Read More
Having been on over ten cruises, this is probably the second smallest ship I have been on. However, I was pleasantly surprised. I needed something affordable because I was taking my aunt for her birthday. If you keep your expectations realistic, you will not be disappointed. I would not splurge on an expensive room on this cruise- I would save a splurge for a more elaborate ship. Our inside room was on floor 6, the upper deck. It is across from the penthouse suites (the only balconies on the whole ship) and some say the high rent district gets better service. After a 2015 update, I thought the ship was really pretty. Our room was roomier than others I have been in. Two closets. A huge mirror. All the major channels on TV plus 2 full length movies playing at all times. We got a towel animal the first night and on my aunts birthday (in addition to a huge colorful message on the mirror and some freebies). The decks were proportionately smaller but never really overcrowded. The adult Serenity deck was small but quiet and had two hot tubs, umbrellas and a shaded overhang. We really liked it. The we found another high deck above the Lido deck where the basketball court was. It was quiet also but was larger and had two hot tubs and a small pool. We liked that even better. The kids were there once in a while but they liked the pool with the The Mongolian BBQ on the Lido deck is really good. The pizza in the Paris restaurant is good-I liked the spinach-mushroom-farmers cheese one. The dining room food was a B+ I would say. Hit and miss. Some not hot enough. The French Onion soup was "lawsuit scalding" however. Ask the staff opinion of what is good because they will know. The staff started out enthused but by the last night they were bored and almost emotionless. I guess this is due to the fact that tips were already paid for. I brought money to tip extra but passed after the lukewarm reception. I did tip my head waiter an extra ten dollars the next morning. I tipped my cabin steward an extra $20. My only real complaint was the entertainment. My aunt didnt really notice because it was her first cruise. I thought it was horrendous. I am not a prude by any stretch but the 18+ piano guy and the 18+ comedy shows were pretty obnoxious. I didnt mind the piano guy so much- lots of f-bombs but at least he was funny. The comedians were just raunchy for shocks sake. People were enjoying it but we left. I would recommend finding a way to visit the non 18+ version of those. Karaoke was fun especially the host- he was a comedian himself! The biggest tip for you is catch as many Casino bar shows as you can. The band Whiplash is great with a changing theme each night. Every band member is uniquely talented. Dont focus on the theme- just GO! You can dance right there. My favorite however was Alex on acoustic guitar. Listen to a few of his songs and you will be hooked! Great for before and after dinner. We attended the art auction but unlike MANY other times I have attended we were served only one glass of lukewarm champagne. And yes that is why many and go and they also really push that. We did enjoy the art however. I recommend Paradise Beach in Cozumel. The Paradise staff is overall very friendly and helpful. Everything ran smoothly. So for an inexpensive cruise- it is very worth the money. Keep an open mind and roll with it. If you want to be treated like royalty, plan on paying 2-3 times the price. You get what you pay for. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I flew in the morning of the cruise, arrived at the Tampa Airport around 8:30A.M and easily grabbed a taxi to head to the pier. Yes, it's early I know. It was $25 flat rate from the airport to the pier. I arrived in about 25 ... Read More
I flew in the morning of the cruise, arrived at the Tampa Airport around 8:30A.M and easily grabbed a taxi to head to the pier. Yes, it's early I know. It was $25 flat rate from the airport to the pier. I arrived in about 25 minutes and the port was not yet opened until 9:30A.M so I waited then they opened the doors an still I waited because the check in counter was not ready for guests. The waiting area is large and accommodating, music and ice water provided. At about 10:00A.M the check in counter was ready for guests to check in, so I checked in and waited for my number to be called. There was a large wedding party, and large Travel Agent site inspection group there for just that first day. Embarkation started around 11:30A.M and it was quick and easy to get on board. Everyone of course rushed up to the Lido deck for lunch it was an overcast day so everyone was inside. Rooms were ready by 1:30p.m my cabin was on deck 4 room R8. I booked an Inside guarantee and this room had 2 port hole windows and was larger than I expected. I usually like to pick out my room on deck 7 or higher and midship. This room reminded me of why. Deck 4 is the lowest cabin deck and R8 is all the way forward. Lots of motion and noise. When the waves hit the ship it sounds like cannons going off. Other than the motion and loud noises it was a nice room with good size, and my room steward Mary Ann was great. This cruise hit Superbowl Sunday, which was great that they played the game in the main theater with a large Wings and other goodie Buffet. We also were at sea during Mardi Gras which so happened to be the Cozumel port day. Fun dancing, costumes and parades in Cozumel was fun to see and the ship had a fun Mardi Gras deck party that night. The main entertainment on the ship was just okay, the lights and stage decor was great but the singing was not so great. I liked the George Lopez Comedy shows. I wasn't impressed with the Lido Deck Buffets, there was plenty of variety and plenty of places to sit I just didn't like the food quality. Pizza and Ice Cream 24/7 that many would enjoy. I did love the Sunday and SeaDay Brunch that was offered in the main dining room. I wish they offered that everyday. It was very casual but the food was delicious with a lot of choices of either Breakfast, lunch, or dessert. Our first stop was Grand Cayman, which is a Tender port. We were unable to Tender at the original destination because of the Waves being so high, so we Tendered at Spotts Bay which is on the opposite side of the Island. Carnival says to go up to the Lido Deck at 7:30a to get an assigned Tender number and then wait for your number to be called. I was first in line so had Tender 1. Because we tendered at a different location we were about an hour behind schedule and we were only scheduled there until 3:00P.M. Carnival first allowed their Excursion guests to go on the first tenders. I was able to casually join their line and got on the Tender over to the island. There were locals set up with their merchandise and Taxi "Vans" waiting. I had already booked an excursion with Resortforaday.com to spend the day at the Westin Grand Cayman so found a taxi van that was taking other guests to Seven Mile Beach, it was $7 per person. The other guests that were dropped off at the public beach called Captain Jacks, I noticed this beach didn't have the shaded lounge chairs and wasn't as nice as what I was expecting for Seven mile beach. I asked the driver to take me to the Westin, and they were very nice and dropped me off. I walked in and checked in at the front desk and was very grateful that this beach was exactly what I was looking for. There was Beach Ambassadors that set up my lounge chair and umbrella right where I wanted it. And was accommodating all day getting me anything I wanted to needed. I had about 4 1/2 hours at the Westin relaxing and enjoying the day. They also had 4 shops on site that I was able to pick up some souveniers. The Tortuga Beach Grill did not accept US Cash so I had to pay for drinks with my Room Key, but the shops and cafe inside does accept US Cash. When I was ready to return taxi's were waiting right outside. I asked the driver to drive past the normal pier, and it was less than 10 minutes away from the Westin. So if I would have Tendered at the original port, I would have had about 5-6 hours at the Westin which would have been well worth the amount paid. It was a great option. In Cozumel I tried out Cozumeldaypasses.com and booked the Occidental Grand Resort. I like spending the Day at the All Inclusive Resorts as an excursion because it's more private than the Beach excursions offered by the cruise lines. We docked at Puerta Maya, walked the pier through the international building where they have K9 security, turn left and walk past the shops and then right at the end of the yellow buildings, There will be a covered walk way that the taxi's are waiting at. There was a line, but again I'm impatient to get where I'm going so I just walked up to the director and let him know I was traveling solo and needed a taxi to take me to the Occidental Grand. He quickly found me a very nice woman driver name Carolina who spoke very well English. It was about a 20 minute ride that was enjoyable with me talking to Carolina about their Parade that was going on that night. It cost me $16 for just myself to go to Occidental Grand. I was able to check in and followed the sidewalk down to the pools and beaches where they were celebrating the Mardi Gras festivities. The first pool I came to was a more quiet adults only pool, and there was a beautiful Large Iguana just chilling by the pool. Then I walked through the beautiful nature reserve back to the beach area. There was another pool, and beach, along with activities and a DJ and Lunch Buffet restaurant. Drinks were readily available in Coconuts and other drinks to try. Beach Cabana's were available for no charge, first come first use. I used one of those for the day and it was perfect! The wave conditions where high but it was still a beautiful day. When I was ready to head back to the ship, which I did early because of the Parade I knew the roads were going to be closing downtown. The front desk called me a taxi and it was there within 10 minutes. This excursion was just $60 for an All Inclusive all food, drinks, and activities included. I met some friends on board who paid $120 per person to go to Carnivals All Inclusive Beach Excursion and they said it was crowded and loud. The last day at sea I spent a lot of time in the Casino. The service there was wonderful and kind. I'm a non smoker so I wished there would have been a section in the Casino that was Non Smoking, but I'm not a big complainer so I toughed it out. I liked playing the slot machines and won 5 tshirts, racked up some VIFP points. Won some and lost more. Once you start doing well on a machine, people will gather around and just wait for you to run out or move from your seat. Disembarkation was also easier than expected. We docked around 7:30A.M and I did Self Assist Debarkation as I only had 1 bag. I had a 3p flight booked but was really hoping to get on the 10a.m. They disembark by Cabin floor, miss impatient did not want to wait until 9:30A.M for deck four to be called, so again I casually walked off with the Carnival Early Flight Transfer that were disembarking at 8:00A.M grabbed a taxi and was at the airport by 9:00A.M and at the gate to fly home at 9:30A.M Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Decided to try a shorter cruise and go back to Carnival. Enjoyed being back on s smaller ship. Our last cruise was on RC with a bigger ship. It was much easier to find a chair on the decks. The comedy club entertainment was better and more ... Read More
Decided to try a shorter cruise and go back to Carnival. Enjoyed being back on s smaller ship. Our last cruise was on RC with a bigger ship. It was much easier to find a chair on the decks. The comedy club entertainment was better and more of it on a 5 day than the 8 day on RC. The lounge was big, spacious and comfortable. The main theater was very comfortable to watch shows and the shows were better than RC. Getting off and on the ship was much better than dealing with a bigger ship and all the other people. The smaller ship does have a disadvantage when it comes to the amount of choices to eat. The food was good, but some dishes have a very small portion. The only way you get a lobster tail is to pay $20. The biggest thing to be aware of sailing out of Tampa is the possibility of weather delays in the Port of Tampa. The 2 cruises before ours were affected by the weather delays when the port was closed. One cruise lost one day and never got to a port for excursions. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Our 9th cruise, 5th on Carnival. Out of Tampa in January 2016 Cons:1). smaller ship means smaller room; no sofa or frig in our ocean view room. Not a big problem, just unexpected. 2).No meal with lobster tail, though could be purchased ... Read More
Our 9th cruise, 5th on Carnival. Out of Tampa in January 2016 Cons:1). smaller ship means smaller room; no sofa or frig in our ocean view room. Not a big problem, just unexpected. 2).No meal with lobster tail, though could be purchased at additional cost 3).No smoked salmon available on breakfast room service menu.4.).Don't know if this ship has stabilizers and if they actually work. VERY rough seas final night Sea sick. Pros:1). 70's show most exciting show ever seen (for us). Wished we'd seen earlier show, would have seen it twice. Reduced expectations on shorter cruise unwarranted. First class talent and tech, all 3 shows.2). Usual friendly and accommodating crew. 3.) Very disturbing room problem discovered after cruise began was dealt with by staff; housekeeping intervened and problem resolved quite satisfactorily. Suggest you avoid end rooms on Rivera deck. Note: this was the cruise in which the port was closed for debarkation due to storm. Finally began about 3PM. Passengers served lunch, shown movies, could even return to cabins late morning. While quite disconcerting (some missed flights) only Mother Nature could be blamed. Staff handled it well. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I never wanted to go on a Carnival cruise. My cruise experiences have been with Celebrity (the vast majority), 2 Holland America, and 1 Royal Caribbean. Carnival was not for me: too loud, too young, too "party atmosphere". I ... Read More
I never wanted to go on a Carnival cruise. My cruise experiences have been with Celebrity (the vast majority), 2 Holland America, and 1 Royal Caribbean. Carnival was not for me: too loud, too young, too "party atmosphere". I especially didn't want to go on Carnival's oldest ship! My late DH and I went on an older Celebrity ship (Millennium), and found that ship to be quite shabby (and the crew was terrible!). But, a large group of friends were going, and they convinced me to give Carnival a try. What a pleasant surprise! Yes, the ship is older, so the amenities are not all there. But my cabin was clean and spacious. True, some of the finishes could be updated, but I had plenty of room! My steward, Farhan, was great, and kept me well stocked in towels. And the food!!!!!!!!!! Wonderful! It more than holds its own against Celebrity's Concierge dining. Our servers, Jeffrey and Russel (table 211), were so pleasant, professional, and helpful. I particularly enjoyed the cold soup appetizers, Chateaubriand (sp?), prime rib, grilled chicken with pasta, and meal loaf (!). With the exception of the cappuccino pie (not "coffee-y" enough), all the deserts were to die for. The entertainment was the only mediocre area. While the 70's and 80's Rock show as quite good, the 60's show was boring. I did not go to the 80's show on the last night, but my friends said it was better than the 60's show. All in all, I would definitely go on Carnival again, and especially on the Paradise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I booked a cruise on Carnival Paradise to celebrate my upcoming birthday (45). Some friends joined me, which was a couple and another single friend, and we had a pretty great time. We weren't travelling with kids so I'm not ... Read More
I booked a cruise on Carnival Paradise to celebrate my upcoming birthday (45). Some friends joined me, which was a couple and another single friend, and we had a pretty great time. We weren't travelling with kids so I'm not sure what the children's activities were like and there were a lot more on board than what I thought would be at this time of year. The room was bigger and cleaner than I expected with it being my first cruise and on an older ship. Our room steward, Adi, was very sweet and helpful. I LOVED the elegant Captain's dinner on Tuesday night. Delicious food, plenty of activities to choose from. The only issues were the elevators and there were not enough hot tubs and the pool was much smaller than expected. There were a couple of elevators that did not work, which made the disembarkation difficult. The stingray/snorkeling excursion I booked on Grand Cayman with Captain Bryan was by far the best. I learned a lot so the next time I book, I would love to try a singles cruise. I would definitely recommend a Carnival cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My family and I just returned from our first cruise. The kids are 7 and 9. I was both impressed and under impressed. First, the service by the staff is excellent. This we the first time in my life that I haven't had to clean up dishes ... Read More
My family and I just returned from our first cruise. The kids are 7 and 9. I was both impressed and under impressed. First, the service by the staff is excellent. This we the first time in my life that I haven't had to clean up dishes as they clean up so leaving dishes anywhere is okay. The dining room staff was wonderful as was our room steward. We all truly had the best vacation so far. Just a few things I wasn't impressed by. The smoking seemed to be everywhere. As a child that lost both parents from issues that arose from their smoking, I despise being around it, and certainly don't want my kids around smoking. The areas on the deck near the pool always had smokers. We couldn't breathe when walking by. I was shocked that they allowed smoking on the floor of the lounge and casino. We walked through there to the comedy shows and again, the smoky smell inside was terrible. I'd love to be on a cruise with no smoking around. Another negative, the pool was very small. I didn't check out the ship we'd be on but after investigating a week before we were leaving, I hated to see that newer ships had waterparks which my kids would've loved. The food was good, we are way too much. The food inside the Paris restaurant was very mediocre though. They had a chocolate bar with cake and brownies that were disgusting and the lunch buffet in front of the Paris restaurant wasn't good. My husband said the shrimp had no taste and pork chops were over-cooked. The deli told my guard he couldn't have ham and turkey on the same sandwich, only the options offered could be picked, which I found odd, especially after waiting in the line. We had a hard time all having lunch together because of the lines outside and inside. The dining room food was enjoyed by all of us, no complaints. We chose the your time dining and only waited once for 5 minutes. I think over all the biggest disappointment was not having amenities of newer ships. RC's newer ships have a rock climbing wall, surfing area, and huge pools. Having seen those commercials for years and going on my first cruise at 30, I expected all of those things, and was underwhelmed at the options on the Paradise. I can only handle sitting at the pool for 2-3 hours and got bored on sea days. We also sat for 3.5 hours to disembark. If you've ever sat at the same table with kids complaining for 3.5 hours, you'd know it's torturous. The comedy club was great, both the family shows and adult shows. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Just got off the Carnival Paradise and after reading a lot of negative reviews, I decided to write this review. First, keep in mind that the ship is older but the staff is constantly cleaning and is extremely happy & friendly. ... Read More
Just got off the Carnival Paradise and after reading a lot of negative reviews, I decided to write this review. First, keep in mind that the ship is older but the staff is constantly cleaning and is extremely happy & friendly. I've been in customer service for over 25 years and was very pleased at the service from the room steward, to the servers, to the spa and casino. The food was also very good with a lot of different choices and places to dine. Also the staff is very organized from embarkation to shore excursions to disembarkation. We saw two comedy shows, one show with singing and dancing, and one hypnotism. All entertainment was very good!! The only thing I can say on a bad note was the pool was REALLY small but everything else was great!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our 7th cruise on a Carnival ship this time we went on the Paradise. Nice ship but starting to show some age. The staff and the crew were very friendly and helpful. However Carnival is starting to get a little cheap. My husband ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise on a Carnival ship this time we went on the Paradise. Nice ship but starting to show some age. The staff and the crew were very friendly and helpful. However Carnival is starting to get a little cheap. My husband and I are Gold card members and found out that the party they have for GOLD, Platinum and Diamond members no longer includes the Gold members. Then there are the drinks, We do not drink much but please when you are charging almost $8 per drink make then bigger, The size of the glass is quite small. Excursions: We went to Grand Cayman and the ship had to tender on the other side of the Island so that meant taking taxis to Georgetown and then to beach. We spent $38. on taxis. But the beach was great. We also went to Cozumel and did the Secreto Cave excursion. This is a must do. Diana out guide was very nice and fun. At the end they fed us a nice authentic Mexican meal. My husband and I do a cruise every October for our anniversary and have decided next year will not be with Carnival. We are looking at the Oasis of the sea. A little more expensive but nicer ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My history: 5 cruises. 2 disney (small and large), 1 carnival (sensation, tugboat class), 1 norwegian (Epic, large class). Having cruised from ports of Canaveral and Miami, large and small ships, i feel like I have a good grasp of ... Read More
My history: 5 cruises. 2 disney (small and large), 1 carnival (sensation, tugboat class), 1 norwegian (Epic, large class). Having cruised from ports of Canaveral and Miami, large and small ships, i feel like I have a good grasp of Caribbean cruising including Cozumel. When we booked this cruise, we knew what we booked, we booked an inexpensive small cruise ship (for today), with a single stop over 5 days travel. I think most would agree that the general rankings for carribean cruise lines are : Royal Caribbean, Disney, Norwegian, then Carnival. I was familiar with this class ship, cozumel, and carnival. General summary : Cruises to me are defined in order of importance : 1)cruise ship amenities / attractions 2)Ports of calls 3)Other Passengers 4)Food 5)ship organization / leadership Here's a brief explanation as to why that order. I cruise with a family and want to stay busy on these floating resort islands. The amount of stuff to do and the variety of it is more important than other matters because if a ship has enough stuff, then the ports don't matter as much. Nearly as important is the other passengers factor. If they are rude , drunk or plain annoying, you won't enjoy a cruise regardless of port of port or attraction. On a ship with multiple stops that stop in great locals, you may be ok with annoying passengers if you don't spend alot of time on the ship. Food is plentiful on any cruise. Some aren't great, but you can order any replacement meal and get one to your liking if you're a little patient. This part is very important to some, especially foodies that come for high quality meals. Lastly, the ship's organization, the way they dish out information, via television and pamphlet is my last critical importance. A poorly placed plan can ruin a novice cruisers experience quite quickly as they learn time after time they have missed shows and events due to poor communication. There is lots going on cruises, you need to stay on top without it feeling like a lot of work. So with that, here is my summary of this ship. This ship has poor organization and communication, just one channel (13) and a lousy paper that isn't organized well compared to the organizations of Norwegian and Disney. The food is on the red lobster scale, that is casual dining experience. You won't find anything you'll be raving about and some of the food will be undercooked, cold and overcooked. I sat at a table with others who had this experience as well. On one night, i asked for a medium steak and got it well done and cold. But I knew i could just ask for another, in fact i asked for 2 just in case. I asked for another medium and a medium well. both came out great in 2 mins. Just expect this as par for the course. Passengers, a mix of people. A few drunks, grumpy elderly frequent cruisers that are annoying because they are annoyed at your mere presence on their beloved ships. Port of call. This is a mexico bound ship. Just one stop. Having been to Cozumel before, i had rented a Thrifty car rental car for $34 at the port and grabbed it, and drove around. We did snorkeling (on the cheap), tequilla taste tests, authentic food and beer (total was $4 usd) while others who stayed visited resorts were paying $15 for a burger. Again, if you know what you're doing.... Lastly, the amenities were not plentiful. A large casino, a seldomly used theater, boring shows, and a painfully weird nightclub. The george lopez comedians were great, Mark Macy and the carrotop of carnival were great. Carnival has the best comedians. So as a wrap, we knew the people were going to be a mixed bag, so no problem, we knew the amenities would be some of the worst, so no problem, we knew the food would be 2 star quality, so no problem their either. In the end, this cruise is all about the port. 3 days cruising and a day in cozumel. Overall it went better than expected. The port day was easy to get on and off of, we controlled our port fun and didn't rely on carnival. In my experience, if you go the route of cruise control of ports, disney was better followed by Norwegian. Carnival has a fake mayan town in cozumel where the prices are all jacked up, stay the hell away from it. The ship has a 70's/80's theme to it that just feels cool today. Will likely miss this when it gets refreshed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Had a relaxing 5 night cruise last week. Started in the PORT OF TAMPA with easy drop off luggage at port, hubby chose to park in Garage about a block away. Cost was $75.00 for the entire week- covered with security/great deal in my ... Read More
Had a relaxing 5 night cruise last week. Started in the PORT OF TAMPA with easy drop off luggage at port, hubby chose to park in Garage about a block away. Cost was $75.00 for the entire week- covered with security/great deal in my opinion. Average shows on the ship- Appeared the guys/men in the show were much older dancers/singers than the girls that were in the entertainment staff. We had EARLY DINING in Destiny. Surprised to see that now LOBSTER and upgraded cut steaks were at a cost of 20.00 extra per night. Several other options to choose from-you can order as much of each item as you feel you can eat. They have no problems serving more than one entrée or appetizer if requested. Staff sang/danced 4 out of 5 nights. Casino and bar right outside casino was full of SMOKERS. I personally don't like smoking and didn't appreciate an open bar in the middle of the ship for smokers. You had to walk through there to get to Karaoke Bar/Comedy Club. There were certainly other areas that could have been secluded for the smokers in the cruise. Comedy shows were great PG/R rated versions. However, I thought having them at 1100-1130 at night was late even for me! Easy exiting for ports- had no problems on/off the ship. Just make sure you keep your ship card at all times. Carried minimal cash in port for tips for excursions. Pool was TINY for such a large ship. Disappointment and no need to go in it. There was a slide that landed into that tiny pool. Went to the adult area one time, small pool and hot tubs over crowded. Basketball area was also crowded. Never got to putt-putt as it was closed due to high winds most of the time we sailed. Free LEMONADEs on POOL DECK/ LIDO DECK. LIDO deck 10- had general buffet- pizza, salad, grilled sandwiches, outside on pool deck burgers/Mongolian grill (hubby loved). Customer Service Desk/Excursions great customer service. BINGO was horribly slow with newbies trying to play and holding up the event. Made it very very boring- we only played once-Price was high for the payouts. Cost two of us approx. 84.00 first game payout 70.00 bucks, only played four games. Multiple trivia games throughout ship days-average Grand Cayman- did the beach trip 42.00 a person--average. Great beach with chair, shower, bath and one free drink (haha). Got us to the beach and back just in time for one of the last ferry to the boat. Cozumel- DUNE BUGGIES EXCELLENT. PEDRO and KIKI were our tour guides. You must be able to drive a stick shift and prepare to walk a bit. The tour was exclusively on paved streets. Short stop for snorkeling with tequila tasting afterwards at preserved park-no sunscreen allowed (big downfall this time of year). Just apply when you get back in the dune buggy as your next ride is 45 minutes in car with excellent scenery. I only wished we could have stopped at one of the other beaches to swim for a bit. However, you do stop for a lunch -Mexican fajitas, rice, chips, salsa. I chose not to eat because I was unsure of the food being outside under pavilion etc. Canned drinks/bottle water included right on the beach. I opted to swim while everyone else devoured the food. Husband said it was good and he didn't get sick which was great! If you take the dune buggy- bring towels for seat (they get hard and hot), bring sunscreen for ride after snorkel trip, sunglasses and tip money. These guys did a great job- we gave a tip and surprised that so many people just don't tip the tour guides. Cost was 89.00 approx. per person- I thought it was worth it for the money! Had plenty of time to browse shops after the tour--I didn't have any intentions of shopping. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was my 11th overall cruise, 5th on Carnival. Went with my wife as part of a larger group of friends and family. We're locals so there was no air travel or hotel stays involved. We still LOVE cruising out of Tampa. ... Read More
This was my 11th overall cruise, 5th on Carnival. Went with my wife as part of a larger group of friends and family. We're locals so there was no air travel or hotel stays involved. We still LOVE cruising out of Tampa. It's close, drop off is a breeze, and self-park is easy. Security screening, check-in and boarding took about 20 minutes. We previously sailed on same cruise 3 years ago on the Paradise and vowed we wouldn't go back. The staff at that time were generally unpleasant, barely spoke (let alone understood) English, and quite frankly - rude. Given that this was the only 4 night cruise out of Tampa that our group could all arrange time off for, we had no real alternative so decided to give it another try. Surprisingly, we had quite a different experience (that, or we tempered our expectations accordingly!) This time the staff were overall pleasant and service wasn't too bad. Most bar service areas were understaffed, but eventually we were served. The ship itself still seems as well maintained as they can manage, but it is showing some signs of its age with wear and tear here and there. On our previous Paradise experience, there was a pervasive smell of sewage onboard - especially on decks 7 and 8. That was not the case this time; now there is a pervasive smell of cigarette smoke throughout the ship's common areas despite smoking only being permitted in the casino and at the casino bar. This was probably due to the inordinate number of chain smokers that set up shop there within 15 minutes of boarding! By the time the safety briefing occurred for us in that area, one could barely see from one end of the Promenade deck to the other because of the thick smoke in the air! This only got worse as the cruise went on and anytime we had to walk through that area, the stench stuck on us the rest of the time we had on those clothes. Note to Carnival: fix the ventilation! The decor remains generally dark. The room itself was well maintained and our steward was very friendly. The food in the MDR was again hit-and-miss. I thought the first night was very good and the service for our "My Time Dining" was great. The second night, the food just didn't taste good and the service was VERY slow until a second waiter was finally brought in. They could also not get any of our drink orders correct (I asked for a Bass Ale and a Diet Coke - the server came back 20 minutes later and asked if I wanted him to mix them or would I do it myself?!?!) The last night wasn't too bad except for the mushroom soup - I almost asked for a can of Campbell's instead! Breakfast in MDR has become "brunch" and is served from 8:30-1:30. Pretty good menu choices and the food and service were MUCH better than on our last cruise on Paradise. Note to Bloody Mary drinkers: try the Bloody Maria - very good! Other dining for us included the Mongolian Grille and Room service - both were very good. Most orders for room service were taken in a few minutes and delivered in less than 10. Loved the Reubens and BLTs. We did not try the buffet. We did not see any production shows. We spent the first sea day on the pool deck which was nice. Seemed to be plenty of chairs. Drink staff was still sparse and drink prices have continued to go up. Last sea day was a wash out so we strolled around the ship. We caught a show by each of the comedians. Both were pretty funny. The best time we had on the ship BY FAR, though, was after our formal night dinner. It was 70's night in the Rex night club so about 75-80 of us dressed up in 70s style disco costumes (big hair and platform shoes included!) Additionally, we had 3 Richard Simmons, Boy George and Prince, the Flintstones and 2 Olivia Newton John workout girls (of course, one was a guy!) HIT OF THE CRUISE!!! Even the cruise director handed out a few "Ship on a Stick" trophies! Disembarkment on Carnival continues to be miserable. It seems like we didn't get cleared until sitting at the dock for about an hour. Then, all the self-assist people show up. It could be that w/ a 4 day cruise more people think they can simply carry off all their stuff but it took the lot of them nearly 90 minutes to get off. Didn't get off this year until about 10:30AM! Overall, we had a good time. Only major complaint is the poor ventilation around all the smokers. Would now consider doing it again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I had ruled out Carnival a long time ago because of too many kids and pushy service, and enjoyed RCL on many cruises, I even have another RCL cruise coming up in November that I have had reserved last year. I took Carnival Paradise from ... Read More
I had ruled out Carnival a long time ago because of too many kids and pushy service, and enjoyed RCL on many cruises, I even have another RCL cruise coming up in November that I have had reserved last year. I took Carnival Paradise from Tampa to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. I started my cruise a bit of a snob, thinking to myself the food was better, the ships are larger, the rooms...etc. Well after the first couple of hours I was pleasantly surprised with great service, very friendly staff, not pushy at all. The entertainment was non stop even on sail dates, the comedy club was my favorite. Yes, the food could have been a little better, the ship could have been bigger and more glamorize, but the service and the friendly could not have been better. I am a convert, I will sail more Carnival Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We sailed out of Tampa on Thursday had a day at sea, Cozumel, and a day at sea. This, to us, is a perfect short getaway. Cozumel is, in our view, the best of the western Caribbean ports. They are well equipped, lots to do and very ... Read More
We sailed out of Tampa on Thursday had a day at sea, Cozumel, and a day at sea. This, to us, is a perfect short getaway. Cozumel is, in our view, the best of the western Caribbean ports. They are well equipped, lots to do and very welcoming. The Paradise is an older ship, the last of the Fantasy class for Carnival, not too many balconies but well laid out. We had been on this ship a few years ago and were not impressed at all. It was not well maintained and not very clean. This time was much much better. The crew was constantly cleaning and the signs of wear and tear were not as apparent. The bed was a little hard, and the room seemed a bit smaller than others of the Fantasy class, but that is because they made the bathroom larger, especially the shower....big improvement. We had an oceanview cabin on the Upper deck near the front of the ship. It was quiet for the most part. I believe the cruise critic review needs to be updated as they no longer provide the freebies in the bathroom. That was a nice touch with the extra razor and breathe right strips....too bad no longer. The cabin was always clean and neat. The food was very good. We only ate in the dining room one night, the first night, but decided to really relax and not even change out of shorts for dinner. The rest of our meals were taken on the Lido deck restaurant. The dining room staff was pleasant enough. When you do the anytime dining, you dont get as attached to the staff as you do when you have a set dining time and place. The people working the Lido restaurant were great. All of the staff was friendly and quick to smile, except for some of the officers. Many of them usually strut around in their white uniforms looking like they smelled something bad. One guy we came face to face with, I said good morning and he just stared right through me as he passed by. Later on, we saw his picture near the art gallery as Leader of the Month! Really!? Wonder what criteria they use for that. The cruise director, Steve Chappel, was outstanding. He was a older fella but full of energy and seemed like he really enjoyed his work. They did have some issues which prevented a couple of the shows from going on, but that was okay with us because we really just wanted to relax. There were two comedians on the ship and both were quite funny. Some of Carnival's entertainment is a little hokey, but we have come to accept that and take it in stride. After all, it is all included with the reasonable price of a ticket so you really cant compain that much. I like to enter the blackjack and slot tournaments that they have on the ship. They are fun and I feel are much better than the blackjack tournament that Royal Caribbean has. The casino manager ( I think he was the casino manager) who was running these must have been new. He didnt make it as fun as i have seen on some Carnival cruises and he wasnt very good at dealing blackjack. Twice he made mistakes during the FINAL! Once, we had a push, meaning he and I had the same score, but he took my money. Another during the final count before the last hand, he started to take my money AGAIN, thankfully he had already counted so we knew how much I had. He needs a lot more training. All in all a very relaxing good cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We, as a family, were looking forward to this cruise for months. it was my and my husband's first cruise. embarkation was easy. Our kids and grandkids have been on several cruises so they know the drill. we boarded and ate lunch ... Read More
We, as a family, were looking forward to this cruise for months. it was my and my husband's first cruise. embarkation was easy. Our kids and grandkids have been on several cruises so they know the drill. we boarded and ate lunch on the lido deck, then on to our cabins to unpack. luggage was at our cabin by 3:30 and we unpacked and got ready for dinner. we had early dining in the elation dining room. christian and eduardo were our waiters and they were beyond great. any request we had was filled quickly and they made our under 18's really enjoy the dining experience....the over 18's, likewise. ( for some of you that have never cruised before, be aware, you can order as many appetizers, entree's or desserts that you want....and this family did just that! lobster night was outrageous....we kept ordering and ordering and ordering and they kept bringing....! there were 11 of us and we must have eaten 25-30 lobsters and shrimp!! needless to say we enjoyed dinner time and our waiters were part of the enjoyment! they became part of the family!!!! Entertainment on board was fun. punchliner comedians were great and my granddaughter was ready to go on stage with the singers and dancers. thoroughly enjoyed. Out cabin steward, francis, was amazing! everything we asked for was brought to us quickly with a smile on his face. he, as well, treated us as family. The reason i cannot give this trip an excellent review is because we, as a family, decided to have a batman adventure night.....we all dressed up as batman characters....batman, robin, batgirl, joker, riddler, poison ivy and alfred. we went to dinner on our last night at sea dressed this way...dining room applauded us and we were so enjoying ourselves. our waiters even called us by character name! looking forward to pictures, dancing and a fun family night. Security put a damper on that when we went to have pictures taken.....said my son could not be on the ship in the batman costume....(his mask only covered his eyes). with some help from other passengers who loved the idea and were enjoying seeing this crazy family having fun, the security person did allow us to have pictures taken but then had to remove our costumes. something we had looked forward to for months and worked so hard on, came crashing down around us.....did they think batman and his friens and villains were going to rob the ship of all the money they had on board?????? anyone that has been on a cruise knows that no money changes hands on a cruise....it's all on a card and charged to you at the end of the cruise!!!!! needless to say, this put a big question mark on a carnival cruise in the future!!!!! Oh yes, a second thing that hampered our vacation....our 6 year old who is small for her age but swims like a fish wasn't allowed to use the water slide because she wasn't tall enough!!!! Although twice she was allowed to use it when an adult family member intervened with the gentleman in charge of the gate.......go figure!!!! she was the only one of the 5 kids with us that was not allowed to join in the fun......very unsettling to her. wanted to know why the other kids were better than her...hard to justify when they did let her go down 2 times!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We celebrated our son's college graduation with a cruise on the Carnival Paradise, in June. It was our first cruise experience, and had a wonderful time! The staff was so polite, and treated us like royalty! The one regret we had was ... Read More
We celebrated our son's college graduation with a cruise on the Carnival Paradise, in June. It was our first cruise experience, and had a wonderful time! The staff was so polite, and treated us like royalty! The one regret we had was not taking advantage of the shore excursion information provided by the staff. We disembarked and shopped the array of souvenir stores close to the port. We were going to explore the local area beyond the port, but felt a little uneasy with the shop owners/employees constant shouting to get us to shop in their stores. With the tensions around the world at an all-time high, we didn't feel safe. Looking back at that situation, we should've traveled Cozumel with other people from the ship! In spite of the experience in Cozumel, we had a blast on the cruise! My wife and I decided to take our 2nd cruise one month after our first, and had a great time, since we were more familiar with the activities on the ship! Although we didn't participate in any formal shore excursions, we did venture out beyond the port, to see a little more of Cozumel! We can' wait to sail again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We purchased a category 6A oceanview room as well as "Faster to the Fun." We arrived in Tampa on July 15, and stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites/Ybor City/Downtown. We purchased a "Park and Cruise" package which ... Read More
We purchased a category 6A oceanview room as well as "Faster to the Fun." We arrived in Tampa on July 15, and stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites/Ybor City/Downtown. We purchased a "Park and Cruise" package which worked out nicely. The hotel was clean, comfortable and convenient. The shuttle service began at 830 am and ran every half hour throughout the day. We left at 10 am and were on the ship eating lunch by noon. As I have sailed on the Fantasy, Ecstacy and the Inspiration, I pretty much knew what to expect as far as the lay out and size of the vessel. Our cabin steward kept things very tidy for us, and our wait staff in the main dining room were also very good. Bar service in the main dining room was slow. We attended one show, The Welcome Aboard show, which was very good. Carnival has revamped their bingo. They no longer have the tabs on the cards which can be pulled back or folded over. Guests can now use a pen, lipstick, or purchase a bingo marker. We very much enjoyed our short, but sweet 4 day cruise. While in Cozumel (our only port of call), we booked a day at Melia Vacation Club, an all inclusive resort. We enjoyed the unlimited food and beverages, as well as the private beach and the adult pool. The Paradise was a very nice ship, and the only ship I have ever been on where you can get a deck chair next to the pool at noon. It never felt crowded as it has on some of the larger Carnival ships. My only complaint: The Chef's Table. We were sold on this experience during lunch on embarkation day. We were told by the waiter that this up close and personal experience with the Master Chef would include unlimited and different wines with each course, champagne, and entrees such as surf and turf. He also encouraged us to make suggestions to the chef during the experience. He also told us that this included a tour of the galley. What we got was a introduction to the Master Chef outside of his office in the galley and a choice of red or white with dinner. The menu served during this activity is predetermined months in advance and there are no deviations. They do ask if you have any food allergies. I was not impressed with the food or the menu. It included things outside of the mainstream such as duck etc. When I voiced my dissatisfaction with guest services, they did nothing. $75 went down the drain!! I would definitely cruise on the Paradise again, but would never partake in The Chef's Table again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was a graduation present for my 18 year old daughter. We brought along her friend as well. As from previous sailings I knew that this is an older, smaller ship in the Carnival fleet. This was my first time purchasing Faster to the ... Read More
This was a graduation present for my 18 year old daughter. We brought along her friend as well. As from previous sailings I knew that this is an older, smaller ship in the Carnival fleet. This was my first time purchasing Faster to the Fun and we were aboard and enjoying cocktails and "mocktails" within 30 minutes of our arrival to port. We were able to access our cabin right away with FTTF. It was an inside cabin, U130, with 2 twin beds and a folding cot. I opted for the cot and it was more comfortable than I thought it would be. The 2 cases of water that I had pre ordered were there when we arrived. Jocelyn, our stewardess kept the room as tidy as one could with 2 teenage girls occupying it. The staff was constantly cleaning about the ship. All of the staff were friendly towards us throughout the cruise. We were assigned to the Elation Dining room with early seating. I know the Maitre'D, Josuf from a prior cruise and he does a great job running the room. Michael was our waiter and took very good care of the table. The food was good throughout the cruise. As my daughter's friend is attending culinary school we splurged and reserved 3 spots at the Chef's Table. Our group of 14 toured the Galley and were served phenomenal appetizers by the Head Chef. After we were escorted to the Library where we were served a seven course meal. The Executive Chef and the Head Chef took turns explaining the dishes that were placed before us. I wont spoil the surprise but I can tell you that I takes 12 chefs 4 days to prepare for this meal. If bought at a restaurant ashore it would cost hundreds of dollars per person! As for our shore time we went on the cheap... In Grand Cayman we took the city bus ( a van really) for $2.50 per person to Governor's Beach with our own snorkel equipment. Seven Mile Beach is not to be missed. In Cozumel we rented a car and toured the island on our own. We stopped at the Money Bar and snorkeled from shore, went to Ocean Club (crowded and the water was murky there), climbed Punta Sur lighthouse, stopped for pics at El Mirrador and topped the day off with great Mexican food at Coconuts. Before I sign off I want to thank our Cruise Director, Calvin who made the time spent aboard so much fun. We enjoyed the Comedy Shows and especially The Liar's Club show. Also a shout out to Scwhartz, ACD for the Adult Scavenger Hunt. I was the gal with the false teeth. This was the highlight of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I have been reading all the NEGATIVE reviews from cruisers about the Carnival Paradise and let me say this after having been on close to 60 cruises since I first started sailing in 1982. When I went on my first cruise in 1982 (Aboard The ... Read More
I have been reading all the NEGATIVE reviews from cruisers about the Carnival Paradise and let me say this after having been on close to 60 cruises since I first started sailing in 1982. When I went on my first cruise in 1982 (Aboard The Emerald Seas) the cruise industry had only a handful of ships and Carnival actually only had 3 at that time. The Carnivale, Mardi Gras, and Festivale. Since then the cruise industry has experienced ENORMOUS changes and growth starting in the early 90's and I've had a front row seat to it all and have applauded it loudly. I have sailed on 3 nite cruises all the way up to 14 nite ones and have sailed on almost every cruise-line in the world. I have been on the Paradise 3 times as well and not by mistake. We live in Tampa Bay and find it a great getaway~ Of course some whiners and complainers who have only been on 5-15 cruises are going to complain that the Paradise falls short of the mark when they are comparing it in their small minds to the newer RCCL, NCL or Celebrity ships they have been on but that's like comparing apples with oranges so please do wake-up!! This ship first sailed in 1998 folks~ That's 17 long years ago so it's truly like comparing a 1998 laptop computer to today's newer models. With all this being said sure the Paradise is showing its age but for the $$ you pay this is one ship that really hits the mark in most areas. They have good food, a nice Mexican/Cayman itinerary, good service, and it is an overall fun ship with something always to do. Sure they don't have many balconies,suites,specialty restaurants,Broadway shows, etc.. but if that's what you truly want go on the NCL Epic, Getaway or Pearl like we did last year so you can quench your desires but that all comes with a higher price tag and much bigger crowds. This ship is what it is~A great small size ship to do a short cruise on. So all you novice cruisers please keep your jaded opinion's of this fun ship to yourself so beginner cruisers are not swayed away from the Paradise as it pretty much hits the nail on the head for a short relaxing 4-5 nite cruise complete with a great time~So if you don't COMPARE it to your last RCCL Oasis or Allure of the Seas cruise as I surely don't you will have a good time on-board the Carnival Paradise~ Life is short~ ENJOY the ride~ Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our second time on the Paradise --but First time having FTF which made embarkation such a breeze this ship is showing some wear and tear but the staff was always cleaning and smileing while doing it and were very friendly ... Read More
This was our second time on the Paradise --but First time having FTF which made embarkation such a breeze this ship is showing some wear and tear but the staff was always cleaning and smileing while doing it and were very friendly Our room was small inside but plenty of room for two and our seward was always calling us by our first names and getting us ice whenever we wanted it. Guest Service was fast having the priority line for FTF and made you feel important. Now dinning we had 8:15 we dont think we will do that again was very slow and one nite not out of there till 9:45 we opted for the lido buffet after that which was good could use a little better selection and seen quite a few tables with dirty dishes stacked. Bar service was good never had a bad drink or weak I did go to the towel animal folding class was fun but forgot how to do it by the time I got home, should of bought the book! Overall this was a very relaxing cruise and enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our 11th cruise, 3rd on Carnival and 2nd out of the port of Tampa. Getting to the port and embarkation Tampa is a very accessible port. The Paradise sails out of terminal 3 – the flow of traffic is quick and efficient. ... Read More
This was our 11th cruise, 3rd on Carnival and 2nd out of the port of Tampa. Getting to the port and embarkation Tampa is a very accessible port. The Paradise sails out of terminal 3 – the flow of traffic is quick and efficient. We arrived at 12:45 and were on the ship 20 minutes later. The only issue was parking. We chose the 717 lot at Union Station because of the $5 rate – BIG MISTAKE. There were no signs, no attendant, the lot was unsecured and there was no shuttle (opposite of all things advertised on their website). Pay the extra money and check yelp reviews for the parking you do select. We found that 717 had bad reviews and if we checked that before we booked, we could have avoided the trouble. Ship and staff Even though she is 17 years old, the Paradise is in good condition. The staff was friendly and greeted us often. They were constantly cleaning the ship. Service items rarely stayed in hallways or on tables for long. We were in cabin M160 – an outside cabin on the Main Deck. The room was comfortable for 3 people, well appointed and more than adequate for 4 days. Like all Fantasy Class Ships, the Paradise takes some getting used to due to the galley on deck 8. Make sure you visit the forward observation decks in-front of the Normandy Theatre (you need to go through the exit doors on the lower level next to the stage). The cruise director was very engaging and entertaining. We would like to call out Haley from his staff, who made the trip extra special by setting up a 5 year old age bracket in the Connect 4 tournament. My daughter still carries her 24K plastic ship on a stick around the house. The little things can make a big difference. Thank you Haley! Dinning We were a little disappointed with the dining options. The food was the same quality as other Carnival ships (I always love the soups), but the service in the Main Dining Room was lacking. Service in the MDR was slow and the waiters did not remember drink orders or dinning preferences. The MDR did not have a separate lunch menu, opting for an 8 – 1 brunch menu on sea days. It was closed while we were in port. We attended the Green Eggs and Ham breakfast – this was a wonderful touch and significantly better than the DreamWorks breakfast on Royal Caribbean. The food in the Lido was good (especially the Mongolian Buffet), but the lines were often long. This should improve when the Paradise gets the Carnival 2.0 upgrade. Family programming and entertainment We travelled with my 5 year old daughter – she was thrilled with the kid’s club staff, wanting to go there every evening. The kids club staff was exceptional, I wish we could call each one of them out by name. They always recognized and greeted our daughter on the ship. They hosted a large family 4th of July dance party in the Rex nightclub - the party was a great time for parents to bond with their kids. The staff looked like they genuinely enjoyed hosting the 4th of July events. The kids club also had a Mardi Gras Party, pom-pom wars, bubble play, tee-shirt making and other innovative activities. The Seuss at Sea Parade was a nice touch – make sure you are there early to get the pom-poms (they ran-out). The main pool and hot tubs were often crowded – almost nobody used the aft pool where there is a small adjoining kid’s pool. My daughter really enjoyed the water slide – she was about an inch short, so we padded her water shoes to give her extra height (make sure that your child is a good swimmer if they are under the 48” limit). We caught the family comedy act and the “8 seconds” show. Both were very good and there was some nice theatrics in 8 seconds. Ports of Call Living in Tampa, we had been to Cozumel several times. The ship docks at the downtown pier and there is plenty of tourist shopping right in the port. We went to Playa Mia for the day, leaving the ship at about 9:15 and arriving at Playa Mia around 10. This was our first time at Playa Mia and we were very happy. The resort is not very Mexican, but it was great for families. The splash park was perfect for our daughter; we played on the water slide and had a great time on the floating obstacle course. Contrary to what has been posted, the food was more than sufficient, about the same quality as what is on the Paradise. There was fresh watermelon and papaya, cilantro infused chicken tacos and fresh pico de gallo. The beach area is spacious, with plenty of loungers and despite the amount of people, the park never felt crowded. We had the all-inclusive package – drinks are pre-mixed and not very strong, but after a few doubles, they add up quickly. We booked through Shore Excursioneer (www.shoreexcursioneer.com) and got a nice discount from the Playa Mia direct rates. We paid for the transportation, which was $7 more than just hiring a cab, but saved us the hassle. Disembarkation We walked-off the ship with our bags and passed through customs in less than 15 minutes. We were in the car and out of the port in around 45 minutes total (that is from the time that we got in-line on the ship until we pulled out of the port). I had to catch another company’s shuttle to the 717 lot, because they never returned my call for their shuttle. We were at work by 10:30 AM, so the 4 day cruise only cost us a half day vacation, thanks to the July 4th holiday. Overall The Carnival Paradise provided a very nice, short cruise. School was out, so there were lots of families, lots of 20 somethings, lots of people from Florida (over half the ship), lots of Carnival style cruising. If you are into a more refined, child free cruise vacation, you probably want to book a different ship or different itinerary. If you are looking for a quick, inexpensive getaway, than this is the perfect ship for you. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our first cruise so we really didn't know what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised! The food was great, the service was remarkable, and our stateroom steward- Oswald was simply amazingly! He was the only person we tipped ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we really didn't know what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised! The food was great, the service was remarkable, and our stateroom steward- Oswald was simply amazingly! He was the only person we tipped extra because he always serviced our stateroom with a smile. He paid such close attention to detail and made our cabin very cozy! Our dining room staff was great as well. Special shout out to Nicole from St.Lucia! The activities were great. The cruise director Calvyn is hilarious! And extremely nice! A few tips for the first time cruiser(s) as we were: 1) take bleach wipes to wipe down your counters and bathrooms- just in case the previous guests weren't that clean 2) take air freshener - sometimes the hallways and rooms had a damp smell, so having our own air freshner really helped. Our secret- those air freshner car trees. Hang them in the closet and on the doors so every time you come in, your room smells fresh. 3) alcoholic drinks are not included, so be prepared to spend at least 20 dollars for two drinks. They do not take cash, you present your sail and sign every time you want a drink other than their standard ice tea and lemonade. It can add up, so be sure to stop at the kiosks and assess how much you are spending so you won't get sticker shock when your vacay is over! They will charge your credit card at the end of the voyage! But have no fear, you can add money to your account to bring down your final cost. 4) take Benadryl and Advil just in case- one Benadryl cost 10 dollars:((( 5) they have Internet service, at a minimal cost, so don't worry about staying connected! 6) you can call home from your stateroom; its 1.99/min. 7) have fun; it was nice for us to do something different(we always go to all inclusive resorts). 8) the staff is wonderful and hardworking, they do their best to make your trip a pleasant experience. 9) the gym and sauna were great; plenty of equipment for everyone Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We boarded the Carnival Paradise on June 13th in Tampa. The ship is outdated and our cabin was small even though we had an ocean view. One elevator did not worked during the whole cruise. The ship was very clean and the crew does their ... Read More
We boarded the Carnival Paradise on June 13th in Tampa. The ship is outdated and our cabin was small even though we had an ocean view. One elevator did not worked during the whole cruise. The ship was very clean and the crew does their best to keep it out with the minimum tools they have. Circle C - this program was great and our son had a blast. His coach was very patient, nice and understanding with the kids. Our son made good friends and we always felt he was safe throughout the cruise ship. We were very impressed with this program and our son was very happy. Entertainment - we love when Calvin was directing the shows and telling his anecdotes. Haley (the bingo lady) was so nice and friendly. We also loved Mark (the late night comedian). He made me cry of laughter every night. The group in front of the bar near the casino was good too. Overall, the music was upbeat though not modern. We went for family karaoke and there was not enough time for families to sing and no new songs either. Credit onboard - the ATM's fee is way too much ($6.00 fee for one time). The statement should be available on TV to be viewed every day in the comfort of your cabin. Crew - cabin stewards, waiters, sales associated and spa personnel were awesome and very accommodating. They had a lasting impression on us. I had a free hairdo at the salon and the pictures for that formal night came out incredibly beautiful. Officers - the only time we could interact with one of them was the night of the captain when we had a moment to speak to him and take pictures. The rest of the officers were on cloud 9. They never interact, speak or even had manners towards the passengers. Ports - the ports were nice and great to visit. Grand Cayman is not as expensive as we thought and we did not have much time at Cozumel. If you take a tour, be sure to make alternative plans for dinner if you have first seating. Shore Excursions - we had a blast with the stingray city at Grand Cayman and underground river at Cozumel. They were both amazing and unforgettable experiences. We highly recommend them. Dining - the dining experience was great with our waiter Iss. She was impressive and nice. The maitre'd Yusuf helped us all the way with our requests and had a great show time with the crew at the end of each dinner. The service was impeccable although the food needs to be more sophisticated. Check in and check out was a breeze. We had our luggage by 2:00 p.m. and got onboard by noon. We got off with our luggage and went thru customs and immigration super fast. We would definitely return to cruise with Carnival on a newer ship and a different route. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Carnival Paradise Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.5 3.7
Public Rooms 3.5 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.3
Service 4.5 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.2

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